Living In The Divine Element Of The Law – Part 8: Sermon By Apostle Gobanga
Jesus was able to define the spiritual meaning and application of what He taught. He elucidated the ten commandments.
You have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not kill, and whoever kills shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court. But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire.Matthew 5:21-22 (AMPC)
Inflation of hatred in our hearts can cause malice which leads to murder. Malice is perfected and uncontrolled jealousy. When you inhibit one’s progress, we are considered murderers. The spirit of the law does not restrict obedience to the letter of the law. The letter on the other hand deals and judges the physical act of violence.
The principles Jesus taught extended beyond the letter of the law. God judges hatred as murder. There is a new standard of uprightness introduced here in that hatred is what will be judged. The spiritual standard is what is being addressed.
Therefore, obedience is no longer restricted to the external only. The spiritual standard applies and deals with the root of the issue not the outward expression.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)
In this Scripture, Jesus lays emphasis on the 7th commandment against adultery. The bar is raised here in that it address lust not just the sexual act. Lust is the root of adultery. There is no difference between one who broods over lustful thoughts and one who takes action on the thoughts. In God’s eyes, it is the same thing.
Every individual is accountable for the thoughts that they brood over. It’s not the action but what was preceded by it. We need to consider the underlying principle that goes before an action. This does not nullify the law but fortifies it.
When we have love, we will fulfill the law and the prophets. Love will cause us to obey. Apostle James says that obedience to God’s laws is a demonstration of love. Those walking in love apply the spiritual principle of the law. We need to allow the Spirit of God to engraft love in our hearts.
Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.Romans 5:5 (AMPC)
There are laws that pertain to God and others to people. Love the Lord your God and love your neighbour as your love yourself means that you will not allow jealousy to take root in your heart in the face of his progress and when you love your sister, you will see her as your sister and if she is older you treat her as a mother-figure. We must consider the teachings of Christ on love.
Christ did not come to abolish the law but fulfill it; to bring a summation and perfection of the same.
The law of God will never change but what changes are the requirements of it. In the Old Testament, it was physical while requirements of the New Testament are spiritual.
Every law is founded on covenant. Covenant is worship, relationship, communion or agreement.
God creates an ambience of relationship before any law is promulgated. He did not create any law when He spoke to Abram. It is after Abram was separate from his family that He ushered him into a place of communion. After this, He entered into a covenant with Abram and changed his name to Abraham.
God consecrates us before we have covenant with Him. Covenant cannot exist in the wrong environment. God will first deliver you from a wrong environment then separate you into a right environment for His covenant to be effectual. God’s law find expression in the context of a covenant.
Christ’s ministry created an ambience for the New Covenant.
In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].Galatians 5:1 (AMPC)
People find it difficult to obey God and feel condemned when the law is spoken because they do not understand the aspect of covenant and the law.
God wants to know your attitude when you pray, fellowship and read Scripture not how much of it you do. Christ injected wisdom in the applicability of the law.
John wrote that obedience is the standard that separates the true follower of Christ and those who just profess His name. This entails not obeying for the sake but the why.
Until we answer the question why, we will find it hard to obey the law. We should not obey because we fear the consequences. The New Covenant does not instill fear but shows the benefits of the law and we are then prompted by God’s love for us and our love for Him to obey the law. We love God because He first loved us. In the Mosaic law, they did not know why they were obeying and were condemned by the law that was to deliver them.
A covenant brings the environment for the spiritual applicability of the spiritual principle. Covenant is a relationship that is ratified and every covenant has its instrument. For the New Covenant, it is the Cross and the blood. What precedes this is relationship with God.
To understand the law, we must understand relationship and communion with the Father and with fellow brethren. It is in this context that there is freedom to be. In relationship there is love and we are free, naked and unashamed. Adam was in fellowship with God and God wrote the law in Adam’s heart. It did not need to be written down for reference. The purpose of the law is that it should be written in our hearts. This means we are receptive of God. This is the reality of the New Testament.
The law was written on stone to show how hard the human heart was.
Obedience only finds expression in the person who is saturated with the presence of God and there is no struggle to obey. In His presence, we understand the applicability of the law. We find it hard to obey because we are dry and not saturated with God’s presence.
The ten commandments is a summary of the Bible.
The law of God encapsulates more than the 10 commandments.
We are not to be fixated on the letter of the commandments but the Spirit. The Spirit reveals that God loves us when He gave us the law.
In marriage, there are no legalistic boundaries because there is love and love covers a multitude of sin and shame. In the same way, Christ’s love covers our sin with His blood and His life. His love was to overshadow our weaknesses.
The letter of the law gives the boundaries not the why. For example, “Thou shalt not kill” does not give the why and when the thought of murder enters our minds, we feel condemned. When the law is written in our hearts, we have no guilt or condemnation. We either live in relationship with God or in condemnation.
The Spirit imparts the life and purpose of God and this only happens in an environment of covenant.
May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];
[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]— To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).”Ephesians 3:16-21 (AMPC)
Here there is no condemnation because you are not living under the law but under covenant. Covenant brings deliverance, understanding of the prophetic purpose for your life, and an impartation of the nature of Christ to do what you cannot do when you are under the law.
Christ introduced this covenant because it worked and is founded on better promises than the Old Covenant. The blood of Christ pleads for mercy and forgiveness and not revenge. It deals with past, present and future sins. This is the unmerited favour and grace of God at work.
This is why God prophetically declares the end from the beginning. He sees what would happen then caters for it. The law existed in eternity.
Eden’s principle of the law was love, fellowship and communion. This is how the law should operate.
In the place of fellowship, decoding mysteries is not hard.
For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.1 Corinthians 14:2 (NIV)
In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!Hebrews 5:12 (NIV)
I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.1 Corinthians 3:2 (NIV)
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